British Academy Schools Language Awards 2013

Aiming higher! Encouraging take-up and progression to higher levels in language learning 

Vivienne Hurley, Director of Programmes at the British Academy said: 

'The aim of these Awards is to find imaginative and effective ways of encouraging more learners to take languages to higher levels, and to address the social imbalance in the profile of language learners. It is clear from the response that mainstream and supplementary schools around the country share our concerns and we are delighted to have received so many high quality applications. We heartily congratulate the winning projects, whose progress we will follow with great interest. We hope they will become beacons of good practice and inspiration and help to turn the tide on Britain's language deficit.'

Following the success of inaugural awards, for the 2013 round of the Schools Language Awards Schools and colleges – or institutions supporting them – were asked to submit proposals for increasing the numbers of students learning languages at higher levels. 

A panel of judges assessed the originality, credibility and potential replicability of the proposals and awarded 13 prizes of £4,000 each to the following schools: 

Supplementary schools category

Vietnamese Supplementary School, Deptford, London – helping parents and children to learn each other's first language.

Hamara Supplementary School, Leeds – helping under achieving ethnic minority pupils gain qualifications in languages, in partnership with South Leeds Academy.

Peace School, London – teaching Arabic through 'content and language integrated learning' and ICT.

Liverpool Polish Saturday School – integrating the development of children's English and Polish language skills with an understanding of finance and marketing.

EC Lighthouse, Barking – promoting an understanding of Lithuanian language and culture, particularly to children from mixed backgrounds who do not speak Lithuanian at home.

Arabic School for All, Lincoln – developing courses and materials for teaching about Energy, the Environment and Architecture through the medium of Arabic.

Polish School in Glasgow – focusing on qualifications and awareness of career opportunities, with placements in local businesses.

Mainstream category

North: Oldham Sixth Form College – A programme of taster sessions, careers talks, and booster classes for year 8 and 9 pupils in local schools.

South East and South West: Devonport High School for Girls, Plymouth – Languages and careers awareness and training programme for years 8, 10 and 12.

London: Deptford Green School – 'Language passport' scheme to raise awareness of the importance of language and intercultural skills for employability.

Scotland: University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City Council schools – HE students act as Ambassadors for languages in local secondary schools.

Northern Ireland: Foyle College, Londonderry – Hearts and minds project involving story-telling in French.

East and Midlands: Northgate High School, Ipswich – Weekend workshops for potential A level students across Suffolk. 

On 27 November 2013, teachers and students from the 13 winning schools attended the British Academy for the awards ceremony. Each school produced an exhibition stand displaying information about their project.

The Academy is grateful to Larry Lamb for hosting the ceremony and to Seema Pathan, Samir Singh and Steve Eadon for presenting the Awards.

In addition to the 13 Awards listed above, we were delighted to be able to present Oldham Sixth Form College with our national Award for showing exceptional innovation and determination.

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